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No country has been as simultaneously praised and criticized as Sweden has for its response to the novel coronavirus. Each day brings new discussion, much of it heated, of the merits of the Swedish model. In general, opinions fall into one of two camps: those saying the country has found a uniquely effective way to address the pandemic (as Nils Karlson, Charlotta Stern, and Daniel B. Klein have argued in these pages) and those saying it has found a uniquely reckless way of endangering the health of its people. What both sides agree on is that the Swedish experience holds lessons for others, either as a model to be emulated or as a cautionary tale. At the end of the day, however, the two camps are mostly talking past each other.
While there is some debate about what the “Swedish model” actually is, many would likely agree there are two
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